Bioproduction of therapeutic proteins in the 21st century and the role of plants and plant cells as production platforms.
In the last decade, the technique to genetically modify crop plants has gained more and more interest in terms of bioproduction of heterologous proteins. Plants have been discovered as a possible source for large amounts of cost effective recombinant protein. Main application fields are therapeutics for use in animal and human health, diagnostics, and technical enzymes. This review is focused on the recent progress in this field of molecular farming. After a comparison with hitherto established protein production systems, the advantages of plants as an alternative production system are discussed. An overview about the different host plants and possible expression strategies is given and the progress in commercialization of the techniques is highlighted. Finally, the role of plant cell cultures for the production of recombinant proteins is discussed.